Emily Blunt had a misfire at the box office last weekend with "The Five-Year Engagement," but one of her upcoming films seems destined for a greater fate at the multiplex.
"Looper," Rian Johnson's sci-fi action flick starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a hitman living in the future, has been creating buzz among fanboys for months. In the film, out in September, Gordon-Levitt comes face-to-face with an older version of himself, played by Bruce Willis. Creating a physical resemblance between the two actors meant Gordon-Levitt had to spend three hours daily in a make-up chair -- and the ultimate look was so jarring that Blunt barely recognized her co-star upon first meeting him.
"When I first arrived, everyone asked me if I wanted to go meet Joe in his trailer -- and I go in, and it's kind of dark, and I didn't know he was in prosthetics," recalled the actress, who plays a single mother who gets caught up between the two men in the picture. "So I was talking to him for about a half an hour, and I couldn't work out why I didn't recognize him. He almost looked like he'd been stung by an insect and had some kind of allergic reaction."
Fearing she'd gone into the trailer of the actor's stunt double, Blunt exited the trailer. Shortly afterward, a crew member asked her what she thought of Gordon-Levitt's makeover and she finally understood the situation.
"It is uncanny how much he looks like Bruce. It wasn't just the voice -- it's the facial expressions, with that squinting," she said. "The movie is thrillingly different and weird. I think it's the coolest film I've ever been a part of."
Director Johnson said Blunt underwent physical changes of her own for the movie, dying her hair and tanning her otherwise pale skin.
“Joe’s transformation is much more obvious because he has makeup on his face, but Emily has just as major of a transformation -- from her American accent to the person she’s creating,” Johnson said. “The fact that the marketing is focusing more on the action stuff -- that really excites me, because Emily is in some ways the heart of the movie. The movie really turns on her character and her dilemma.”
Photo: Emily Blunt stars in "Looper." Credit: Sony Pictures